80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Colourfield

The band Colourfield was started in 1984 by Terry Hall in Manchester, England. Hall, formerly with Specials and Fun Boy Three, teamed up with Toby Lyons and Karl Shale from Swinging Cats. The same year, the trio released its first single, “The Colour Field.” Three more singles followed, “Take,” “Thinking of You,” and “Castles in the Air.” Of the three, “Thinking of You” did the best, charting at number 12 on the UK chart.

Colourfield released their first album, Virgins & Philistines in 1985. Wikipedia reports that it didn’t do very well because it mixed diverse pop sounds of the 60’s and 70’s, not exactly the flavor of the month in the corporate music world. Apparently, the unique sound would prove to be ahead of its time, because popular group Lightning Seeds would build on the same creative style a decade later.

Gary Dwyer (drummer, formerly of Teardrop Explodes) joined the line-up in 1986, and an EP, Colour Field, shortly followed. The EP consisted of six singles. One of them “Things Could Be Beautiful,” charted at number 83 in the UK.

The final Colourfield album, Deception, was released in 1987. Plagued by personnel changes, a fairly common occurrence in bands of this era. Colourfield had to rely on session musicians to pull this collection together. Hall has since shared he never liked the way the LP ended up because he felt he had no control over the ever-changing musicians and producers. Needless to say, this was Colourfield’s swan song.

Terry Hall went on to some successful collaborations, including the aforementioned Lightning Seeds, throughout the 90’s and beyond. I haven’t been able to find a website dealing solely with Colourfield, but Colourfield and Terry Hall music is still available here.

Thinking Of You” via YouTube user spaceyx101:

Castles In The Air” via YouTube user bloom471:

 Frosty Mornings” via YouTube user 2tonefootage:

 

Discography

Virgins & Philistines (1985)

The Colour Field (1986)
 

Deception (1987)

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 05-25-10

Have the summertime blues? Work got you down? Does it seem like you’re carrying the weight of the world? I’ve got just the cure – no mood lifter like some obscure 80’s music. Check out the playlist and tell me that doesn’t bring a smile to your face. If “Yin & Yang the Flower Pot Man” doesn’t get you spinning in your chair, you need to check yourself for a pulse. It definitely re-energized me.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “ain’t nothing like the real thing – vinyl” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/Post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist May 25, 2010

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the
Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments. 

  1. Landscape – European Man
  2. Look People – Cookie Man
  3. M-1 Alternative – Rain
  4. Love & Rockets – Yin & Yang The Flowerpot Man
  5. Husker Du – Dead Set On Destruction
  6. Strange Advance – Love Becomes Electric (extended)
  7. Rational Youth – Freeze
  8. B-52s – Devil In My Car
  9. Matt Bianco – Wap Bam Boogie
  10. Thomas Dolby – One Of Our Submarines (Is Missing)
  11. Spoons – One in Ten Words
  12. Yello – Sometimes (Dr. Hirsch)
  13. West End Dance Project – 92 In The Shade
  14. Nash The Slash – Who Do You Dub (extended)
  15. Flying Lizards – TV
  16. Art Of Noise – Close To The Edit
  17. Martha & The Muffins – Paint By Number Heart
  18. Fad Gadget – Swallow It
  19. Psyche – Insatiable (chamber mix)
  20. OMD – Messages
  21. Mood – Paris Is One Day Away

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ The Mood (repost from March 28, 2009)

(Author’s note: This is a repost of a March 28, 2009 post, due to circumstances beyond my control. Watch this space next Tuesday for a current Retrospect update, and next Saturday for a new criminally underrated feature. Thank you for your support.)

The Mood was a British band from York that performed together from 1981 to 1984. It consisted of members John Moore, Mark James, and Eric James (no relation).

In 1981, they released a single on a local small independent label (Romantic Records), titled “Is There A Reason.” At that time, they were a five-piece band including Steve Carter and John Dalby. After Carter and Dalby left the band, the three remaining members of The Mood signed to RCA and released a new re-produced mix of “Is There A Reason.” A second single was released called “Don’t Stop.” Neither track reached the UK top 40 charts; however, a third single, “Paris is One Day Away,” came close at # 42. Two more singles followed: “Passion In Dark Rooms” with “The Munich Thing” on the b-side. The Mood’s final single was “I Don’t Need Your Love Now” followed by the band’s split-up in 1984.

John Moore reformed The Mood briefly in 1992 with Paul Atkinson (bass) and Steve Bradley (drums). They appeared regularly in northern England before changing their name to Wild and subsequently splitting up in late 1993.

All of The Mood singles were re-released on a 19 track CD album by Cherry Red Records (licensed from Sony/BMG) in July 2008 titled “The Singles Collection.” It includes all the singles and b-sides, plus additional tracks from their US album.  Purchase The Mood: http://www.amazon.com/Singles-Collection-MOOD-Not-Mood/dp/B001APRXJU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1238288668&sr=1-1

The Mood have a website at http://www.themood.info/TheMood/Welcome.html which has some rare pictures of the band from the early 80’s, along with other information about the collections release.

 “Paris Is One Day Away” via YouTube user inmotion68:

 “Passion In Dark Rooms” via YouTube user sugarstarmusic:

 “Don’t Stop” via YouTube user sugarstarmusic:

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 05-18-10

It was a tough day in the real world today. So glad for the chance to escape to Retrospect and let Ed-FM spin some fabulous obscure tunes. From the first note, I knew things were going to get better…and did they ever. If you haven’t yet, you need to join us on Tuesday nights to treat your ears and cleanse your soul of whatever ails you. Dr. Ed-FM has just the medicine you need.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “vinyl rules, plastic drools” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/Post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist May 18, 2010

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the
Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

1. Box – Crying Out Loud For Love
2. Boys Brigade – Mannequin
3. Fall – Bombast
4. Data Bank-A – Once
5. Room 9 – Angels Sing
6. Rational Youth – Latin Lovers
7. Yello – Koladi-Ola
8. Extras – Hip Hop Hip Hip
9. Coconuts – Don’t Take My Cocnuts
10. Industry – Communication
11. CCCP – American Soviet
12. Blue Peter – Where Is My Angel
13. Thinkman – Best Adventures
14. Simple Minds – New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
15. Monks – I Can Do Anything You Like
16. Henry Badowski – My Face
17. Norman Iceberg – Be My Human (12 inch)
18. Wide Boy Awake – Slang Teacher
19. Alternative Radio – Valley Of The Evergreen
20. Eva Everything – Piece Of Cake
21. Section 25 – Looking From A Hilltop (mega mix)
22. Abecedarians – Soil
23. English Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom (dub mix)

80’s (and sometimes 70’s) Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ ARSON

Photo by Santiago

 Over the past few months here on Rave and Roll, you have read about the criminally underrated group Vis-A-Vis, and lead singer Rude van Steenes (“Angelic Voices Part II”). Today, it’s my pleasure to bring you an additional piece of related history: ARSON. Deep gratitude to Rude van Steenes who graciously allowed me to use the biographical information that he provided, much of it in his own words.   

ARSON began its foray into the Toronto (and beyond) punk scene in the summer of 1977. Drummer/vocalist/composer Rude van Steenes morphed into Rudi Tuesdai and, along with an eclectic mix of acquaintances, recorded an original french punk song he wrote called “je tenais” (I’m fed up). Recorded live onto a TEAC 4-track reel-to-reel, the song was a spare mix of guitar, drums, bass, and vocals reminiscent of one of Tuesdai’s early influences, the MC5. Unfortunately, a self-proclaimed“manager,” claiming to have contacts, took the master tape presumably to make dubs to shop around, and promptly vanished.   

Shortly after, Tuesdai had the good fortune to meet up with Marcel La Fleur. The match produced lyrics by Tuesdai, music by LaFleur, and a friendship that would last more than 30 years. They picked up bassist Crazy Alex and a drummer named Gary and began rehearsing in the back of a junk shop/former theatre (The Rose) on Queen and Bathurst, Toronto that had burned out long ago. It was dirty and dark with two light bulbs hanging on frayed wires from the ceiling, but it provided then with the necessary and vital place to hone their craft.   

Late Spring of ‘78 saw their first live show guesting at the local start-up for most bands called The Turning Point. That was followed by opening stints for The Ugly and later, The Viletones. At that particular show, ARSON played with such intensity, the capacity crowd gave them 3 rousing encores. Two weeks later, the Garys offered them The Dead Boys shows at The Horseshoe along with friends, The Demics, from London.   

During that period, ARSON shows consisted of 12 original songs and a few select covers, with their opening signature being The Stooges’ Raw Power. ARSON material was socially motivated and influenced by the likes of American forerunners The MC5, The Stooges, Velvet Underground/Lou Reed, New York Dolls, Television, Richard Hell, etc., and from overseas, early versions of The Animals, Rolling Stones, The Clash, The Vibrators, John Cooper-Clarke, The Stranglers, The Cure, and Chris Spedding. Other covers ARSON performed live were The Animals’ We Gotta Get Out of This Place, The Kingsmen’s Louie, Louie, and The Dolls’ Vietnamese Babies.   

 The band toured successfully and encountered a few personnel changes over the next couple of years. Van Steenes recounts the following:   

 The Chicago dates were another turning point for ARSON where the inspiration for the song ‘COHO COHO’ was born. In the words of ‘Shades’ writer, John Hamilton;   

 ‘It was at Mother’s in Chicago that the band took the stage to cries of what they thought were “GO HOME, GO HOME”. What didn’t fit was the cheering and applause after every song. Later on they discovered it wasn’t “GO HOME” but, “COHO” the crowd of rabid maniacs was screaming.    

 COHO, for the uninitiated, is a group of anti-disco fanatics in the mid-west. Led by head loon D.J. Steve Dahl of WLUP radio in Chicago, they’ve begun an all out war on Disco. ARSON was so affected by the meeting, they’ve produced a single, ‘COHO, COHO’, which would become the anthem for the emerging army.’    

 ARSON was gaining serious traction in America, actually breaking even or better, and promoting/booking themselves at sold-out venues as they went along.This was amazing for a band with no financial backing or a recording contract.   

 ARSON recording their first single Livin’ With The White Folks B/W Coho COHO at Cottingham Sound in Toronto, in the Fall of ’79. They self-produced and financed approximately 1,000 copies which promptly sold out. A mini-tour followed with dates in Toronto (Rock Palace) and a 10 day promotional jaunt to New York City where the band played dates at Max’s Kansas City, Stickball, and Club 88, as well as being guests of The Plasmatics at a Long Island gig on Halloween. Return dates in Toronto at ‘The Horseshoe’, ‘Hotel Isabella’ and ‘Larry’s Hideaway’ to promote the single’s release followed before the band decided to take a well-deserved break.   

 In 1980, ARSON continued to make the rounds at various local clubs before going back into the studio to record a cover of The Animals song, We Gotta Get Out of This Place for the No Pedestrians compilation on Chameleon Records. The album was released in July and was critically acclaimed as one of the best compilation albums highlighting the ‘new’ music. Unfortunately for this version of ARSON, undoubtedly the best, this would be the end of a successful run.   

Over the years that followed, both Rude and Marcel pursued different projects. Their paths crossed sporadically which would include some creative collaboration and putting ideas on tape. Recently, they have been writing and arranging the old and the new for both recording and performing projects. The result: be sure to watch for a return of ARSON, better than ever. Rude van Steenes reports:   

 We’ve been working on arrangements and new material for a while now. Everything is moving nicely through the planning stages and everything sounds fresh and alive. The best part of our writing and friendship is that we’re like two kids getting excited and having fun being creative!    

 ARSON was a special project for me as it was my first foray into lead vocals and being stage front as opposed to hiding behind a drum kit, my first instrument. For Marcel, it was his very first real band.   

Lucky for fans of the original punk and post-punk scenes, ARSON is rising from the embers that never stopped glowing. For more information, and to listen to some great tracks, check them out here.  Also, contact Rude van Steenes via Facebook here.   

  

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 05-11-10

Tuesdays definitely rank high in my week. On Tuesday nights, for two wonderful hours, my ears are treated to the best obscure 80’s music they’ve never heard before. Ed recognized this week’s featured group Camouflage by opening up a blistering set with their song “The Great Commandment.” It is always great to hear Vis-à-Vis, especially the fabulous track “I Am The Night (Colour Me Black).”  (Watch this space for more on Rude Van Steenes very soon!) And, later on in the show, a great extended version of “The Sun Always Shines On TV” – Morten Harket’s voice….need I say more?

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “we don’t need no steenkin’ CD players” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/Post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist May 11, 2010

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

1.     Camouflage – The Great Commandment
2.     Alarm – Rain In The Summertime (12 inch Thunder Mix)
3.     Dole – Slumberland (12 inch)
4.     Moev – Yeah Whatever
5.     Yello – Tied Up In Fantasia (12 inch)
6.     Diodes – Catwalker
7.     B-52s – Planet Claire
8.     Dalek I Love You – African Express
9.     Vis-à-Vis – I Am The Night (Colour Me Black)
10. New Muzik – They All ran After The Carving Knife
11. Information Society – Tomorrow
12. Men Without Hats – Where Do The Boys Go
13. Human League – Only After Dark
14. Captain Sensible – Glad It’s All Over
15. Hawaiian Pups – Overture To Young Boys
16. John Ireland – You’re Living Inside My Head
17. Dansespeak – Necessary Illusion
18. A-Ha – The Sun Always Shines On TV (extended)
19. The Creatures – Fury Eyes
20. Screaming Blue Messiahs – I Wanna Be a Flintstone

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Camouflage

Here’s a group whose most notable 80’s hit, “The Great Commandment,” I probably heard numerous times when it was released in 1987. I also probably misidentified it as a Depeche Mode song. Aw, c’mon, stop looking so smug. You know you did, too. Admit it!

The band formed in 1984 in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany as a trio comprised of Heiko Maile, Marcus Meyn, and Oliver Kreyssig. They set up their first recording studio in Heiko’s parents’ basement. After shopping some demos around and signing with Metronome, the band recorded “The Great Commandment.” Two singles followed, all doing well on the German charts, so the band decided to record their first album, Voices & Images. The album charted well in the US, leading the band to record a second album in 1989, Methods of Silence.

“Love Is A Shield,” from their sophomore effort, did well once again on the German charts. I heard it for the first time a few years ago on the advice of a friend. It was also around then that I realized “The Great Commandment” was Camouflage and NOT Depeche Mode. The styles are very similar, especially the blend of synths, electronica, and compelling lead vocals.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing; look at Depeche Mode’s success and longevity. Camouflage, however enormously talented, never seemed to enjoy the far-reaching success that Depeche Mode did. One reason may be internal conflicts. Another may be lack of first-rate promotion. Whatever the reason, Camouflage had the stuff of a great 80’s New Wave band, but never was able to hit that wildly successful groove.

Browsing through the band’s music that’s available via YouTube, I am finding there is very little Camouflage music that I don’t enjoy. It definitely hits that 80’s New Wave/Electronica sweet spot of mine. If you feel the same way, fortunately for us, some of their music is still available here.  With a little digging, you can probably uncover the rest of their discography, as well.

“The Great Commandment” via YouTube user divasfever:

“Love Is A Shield” via YouTube user np2ij:

 “Suspicious Love” via YouTube user helgabohemia20:

“Neighbours” via YouTube user ColourOfSpring:

 

Discography

Voices & Images (1988)
Methods of Silence (1989)
Meanwhile (1991)
Bodega Bohemia (1993)
Spice Crackers (1995)
Best of – We Stroke the Flames (1997)
Rewind – Best of 85-97 (2001)
Sensor (2003)
Relocated (2006)